Kitchen Brushes &tc. > Birch Bark by Irina
IRINA KEPPER Birch Bark
Irina Kepper, together with several other women artisans decided to open a workshop dedicated to keeping the old birch bark handicrafts alive, way up in Novosibirsk, Siberia. They worked out the old methods of making useful items from birch bark, and then designed a collection to market them, keeping this the only workshop in Siberia in operation, thereby preserving an ancient craft. The best way to describe Birch Bark, is to call it natural Gore-Tex, in that it’s both waterproof and really breathes! Natives of Siberia, Scandinavia, and northern North America have known this for millennia. Think of canoes! A wonderful organic material that is of course very “green”. The bark comes only from commercially grown trees, harvested during the spring, slated for lumber used in furniture. The bark is then cleaned and soaked in water, then peeled into layers. With some uses the outer bark is used, in others, only the inner layer is used. When you buy these beautiful and useful articles, not only do you score, but you are keeping a worthwhile handicraft alive. And that means something in this world of plastic sameness.